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Russian Duma chairman invites MEPs to Moscow gay clubs

Published time: October 02, 2013 03:14
Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin speaking at the plenary meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on October 1, 2013 (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Fedorenko)

Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin speaking at the plenary meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on October 1, 2013 (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Fedorenko)

Russia’s State Duma chairman has invited MEPs to visit gay clubs in Moscow, highlighting that sexual minorities have the same rights as everyone else in the country while also stating that the promotion of homosexuality among minors should not be allowed.

Sergey Naryshkin, the head of the Lower House, spoke and answered questions at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Tuesday in Starsbourg, France. He discussed Russia’s gay propaganda law and ‘foreign agents’ law, along with Russia-CIS relations.

Naryshkin invited European parliamentarians to visit Moscow’s gay clubs if they are not convinced that the rights of sexual minorities are protected in Russia. 

“There are a lot of so-called gay clubs. I haven’t been to any, but those who have said that they are very good and comfortable, and these people have a good time. If anyone wants to get this confirmation, please, I invite you to Moscow,” he said.

“We have a lot of successful people who have a non-traditional sexual orientation. They are successful in business, in art, and other creative fields...They have the right to enjoy their time off and relax comfortably...in Moscow and in other Russian cities,” said Naryshkin.

Naryshkin said that he will not be going the clubs with the invited guests, but will arrange for them to be taken care of during their visit. 

RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov

Russian society and family values 

Naryshkin described Russian society to be rather conservative, saying it has “retained Orthodox values, including the traditional family.”

While answering a question about the Russian law which bans the promotion of homosexuality among minors, Naryshkin said that it fully complies with international law and is in line with the country’s conservative traditions.

As an example, Naryshkin cited the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the UN Convention on the Rights of Children.

Russia has been severely criticized by various governments, equality campaigners, and human rights groups over the law it passed in late June which bans the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors.” Concerns have been raised that the legislation could apply to expressions of public affection by gay athletes and fans at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. 

In August, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree outlawing all demonstrations and rallies in Sochi for two-and-a-half months around the time of the Games, with many saying the move was especially aimed at preventing gay rights protests during the Olympics.

Russian authorities insist, however, that the law was designed to protect children and does not violate the rights of LGBT people in any way.

“If you can’t cross the road at a red light, that does not mean that you cannot walk down the streets,” added Naryshkin. 

More than 300 gay and lesbian supporters participate in a 'Kiss-In' action at the Russian consulate in Antwerp to protest against the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender oriented people in Russia on August 9, 2013. (AFP Photo / Georges Gobet)

Foreign agents law might be adjusted 

Naryshkin also touched upon two other controversial issues, including the ‘foreign agents’ law in Russia and the alleged pressure on Ukraine to integrate.

He said that the goal of the first legislation – which requires NGOs that participate in politics and receive sponsorship from abroad to register as foreign agents - is aimed at improving funding transparency. But, he noted that Russia is already discussing a more precise definition for“political participation.”

Naryshkin also assured MEPs that Russia does not exert any pressure on the CIS countries when it comes to integration. "Russia has a large amount of political, economic, humanitarian, military and technical cooperation with the CIS countries, including Ukraine," he said, adding that “all the CIS states are sovereign” and only “their government and the people can make the decision” of which union to join. 

Naryshkin’s comments come after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said that his country will sign a free trade pact with the EU, adding that he wants to keep open the option of joining Russia in the Customs Union. Meanwhile, Russia insisted that it will not let Ukraine into its Customs Union if it seals a trade agreement with the EU.

The latest threat came from the country’s prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, who said the “special trading partnership with Ukraine, which has operated up until now, will end.”

Comments (5)

 

Avis71 18.01.2014 15:44

True Kafir 02.10.2013 08:30

While it may today be just possible for Russian's to lie to the world and say that it's anti homosexual law is in no way anti gay ( if you think being homosexual start's and ends at night clubs ) , but when the Russian government legalizes the state theft of children who's parent's are homosexual and the placing of said children in state care there will be no way for Russia to hide it's anti homosexual agenda any more .

  


I agree and wonder why this got -8 thumbs down.
RT (readers) apparently can't accept criticism very well

 

David Grossman 03.10.2013 23:27

So gay people have the same rights as straight citizens? I don't recall straight couples getting arrested if they hold hands or kiss in public. I also don't recall straight teens getting deceived online by anti-straight predators, only to be sodomized by a bottle on camera, then later dying in a hospital from their injuries. So who exactly is the monster here?

The level of ignorance here is dumbfounding. The idea that children can somehow "catch" homosexuality if they are around gay people is ludicrous. Where exactly are these thousands of children that claim to have been indoctrination into the "gay lifestyle"?

 

Aaron Garton 03.10.2013 16:13

I cringe at the thought that a Russian reads the comments posted in RT and thinks that all Americans are ignorant, inbred bigots.

The re is no such thing as "special rights." It has never existed in U.S. history. There are civil rights that protect against discrimination based upon gender, age, religion, race, sexual orientation, and marital status. These laws are not written so that they only protect Jews, African-Americans, gays, etc. They are written to protect EVERYONE. For example, if a white Anglo-Saxon American male was harassed at his workplace due to his sex or skin color, he could sue his employer.

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